Temperince Morgan has a long and distinguished career in public service and the non-profit sector working on protecting vast and iconic natural resources and addressing critical environmental restoration and water resources issues. Temperince currently serves as the Division Director for TNC’s Southern U.S. Division that is comprised of 10 state programs: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. The division focuses on contributing to TNC's 2030 goals related to biodiversity and climate through ecosystem-scale programs related to the Appalachians, longleaf pine, the Mississippi River Basin, Gulf of Mexico, Everglades and the Oceans and Coasts network.
Temperince is a scientist by training who joined TNC in 2014 as Florida executive director, where she helped position the chapter as a leader internally and externally through development of a bold long-term vision and 5-year strategic plan, implementation of a successful $140M fundraising campaign and by embodying TNC’s One Conservancy spirit.
Prior to TNC, Morgan served as director of Everglades policy and coordination at the South Florida Water Management District, where she led Florida’s multibillion dollar Everglades Restoration Program and associated partnership with the Federal Government. Additionally, she worked for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, where she managed environmental restoration and water quality standard related programs.
Temperince is a fourth generation Floridian based in Central Florida and enjoys pickleball, traveling and spending time outdoors with her husband and two dogs.
Statement regarding Environmental Leadership Award Winners
November 7, 2022
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services recently announced the winners of the 2022 Agricultural Environmental Leadership Award. The award recognizes environmentally innovative farming practices in Florida’s agricultural industry. We are thrilled to announce that TNC Florida trustee Lynetta Usher Griner of Usher Land & Timber is one of this year’s award winners, along with Brooks Garland of Lee Peanut Farms and Marlon L. Pendergrass of the Groves of Peace River. The award recipients were honored for their efforts in the responsible use of nutrients, preserving water quality, wildlife protection, soil conservation and recycling. The innovative practices demonstrated by these environmental leaders help to mitigate the effects of climate change, while helping to preserve Florida’s natural lands for future generations.
Statement regarding the actions of the Florida Cabinet
August 23, 2022
Congratulations to Governor DeSantis and the Florida Cabinet for continuing excellence in protecting our state’s future by conserving nearly 20,000 acres of conservation land during today’s meeting.
While a full slate of important land projects were protected, The Nature Conservancy is particularly proud of two projects: Hendrie Ranch, which protects 663 acres of natural and agricultural land important for Florida panthers within the ecologically significant Lake Wales Ridge through a conservation easement under the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program; and Whiskey George Creek Timbers, 376 acres within the St. Joe Timberlands Florida Forever project that will be added to Tate’s Hell State Forest and is important for water flows into East Bay and contains several active red-cockaded woodpecker clusters.
Statement regarding passage of the Inflation Reduction Act
August 12, 2022
We are in the midst of a climate crisis that demands swift action on a global level and we now have action from the United States Congress. The Nature Conservancy in Florida applauds the United States House of Representatives for the bill’s passage, including $369 billion for addressing climate change.
Implementing the climate provisions of the Inflation Reduction Act will accelerate efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Reports show that the successful implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act will lead to 40% reductions in carbon emissions by 2030.
Additionally, the economic benefits of the Inflation Reduction Act will be a boon to Florida. To see a snapshot of the economic impact, we have an Inflation Reduction Act Fact Sheet that shows how the Act helps Florida’s economy.
Let’s get this bill to the President for signature and celebrate passage. Then, let’s get to work to enact the opportunities for climate in the Inflation Reduction Act.
Statement regarding U.S. Senate passage of the Inflation Reduction Act
August 8, 2022
We are in the midst of a climate crisis that demands swift action on a global level. The Nature Conservancy in Florida applauds the United States Senate for passing the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes $369 billion for Energy Security and Climate Change.
Climate scientists and world leaders have recognized the need to limit warming to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels to prevent the most severe impacts of climate change on people and nature. Impacts we are already experiencing here in Florida, a state at the frontlines of the crisis.
To meet that goal, we must accelerate efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the United States and the Act boosts this critical effort. Reports show that successful implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act will lead to 40 percent reductions in greenhouse gas by 2030.
Now let’s get the Act passed by the House and to the President for signature.
Statement regarding protection of Chaparral Slough
August 8, 2022
Completing the Chaparral Slough acquisition makes today a red-letter day. It takes collaboration on a grand scale to protect our lands and natural resources, and we congratulate our partners Lykes Bros. Inc. and Florida DEP on bringing this vital property into conservation. Keeping this land in its natural state will aid in improving water quality and quantity within the Fisheating Creek watershed and the Florida Everglades ecosystem. This conservation easement, in this important wildlife corridor, balances the need to protect essential Florida panther habitat with safeguarding productive agricultural lands that provide food for an ever-growing population.
Statement regarding FPL goal to eliminate carbon emissions
June 16, 2022
To avoid the worst impacts of climate change, we must reach net-zero emissions in the United States and around the world by 2050, as such, The Nature Conservancy in Florida commends NextEra’s adoption of meaningful carbon reduction goals, including the commitment to eliminate carbon emissions from its operations no later than 2045, and to assist customers in achieving carbon reduction goals.
NextEra’s Leadership in the decarbonization of the economy from energy providers like NextEra/Florida Power & Light is crucial to creating momentum in industry and government for actions and policies to reduce carbon emissions.
Statement Regarding the 2022 Florida Legislative Session
March 14, 2022
Governor DeSantis and the Florida Legislature have made their focus on conservation and support for the environment a priority, through the allocation of significant funding to programs that are critical to a sustainable future for our state and our health and well-being.
Florida will now have a permanent Chief Resilience Officer in the Office of the Governor with the unanimous passage in the Senate of CS/HB 7053—Statewide Flooding and Sea Level Rise Resilience. The bill strengthens Florida’s commitment to addressing the effects of sea level rise and flooding, and we encourage the Legislature and Governor build on this effort during the 2023 legislative session by also addressing the causes of climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and supporting implementation of natural climate solutions.
As a result of actions taken by Governor DeSantis and the Florida Legislature, conservation in our state continues to move in a productive direction.
However, HB 741 will constrain the growth of residential solar and be a deterrent to an expanded and resilient source of power for Floridians.
In Florida, nature isn’t out there—it’s right here. Together, we are responsible for securing a better quality of life for Floridians and the best possible future. It is now imperative to follow these achievements with action and begin implementation to secure the protection of Florida’s natural resources that we all depend upon.
Statement on the Designation of a Sentinel Landscape in Northwest Florida
February 15, 2022
The Nature Conservancy in Florida is thrilled to see the announcement from the Sentinel Landscape Coordinating Committee and the Department of Defense of the designation of a Sentinel Landscape in Northwest Florida. We congratulate the Defenders of Wildlife for their leadership in this effort. Without their dogged determination, this accomplishment could not be achieved. As one of the founding partners of the Sentinel Landscape program and having developed the first Sentinel Landscape in Florida – Avon Park Air Force Range Sentinel Landscape – The Nature Conservancy can attest to its success as a conservation tool in Florida and across the United States.
Sentinel Landscapes conserve the natural resources of a region while helping to sustain the important military missions of Department of Defense bases and training facilities, all the while allowing the continuation of the ranching and farming activities important to Florida’s economy and so many families across the state. It is only when we work in partnership that we can ensure this vital balance of conservation, agriculture, and military operations that have tremendous benefit for nature and for people.
Statement Regarding Increased Funding for America’s Everglades
January 19, 2022
The Nature Conservancy in Florida has been working to restore the Everglades since the 1970’s, including helping to purchase thousands of acres of land in the Everglades Agricultural Area for restoration. Today’s announcement of $1 billion of Federal Infrastructure dollars for Everglades Restoration is an extraordinary opportunity to advance the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan towards completion.
We commend the Administration for its dedicated support of these essential projects to benefit America’s Everglades.
Position Statement of The Nature Conservancy in Florida
January 11, 2022
Florida needs a smart and thoughtful path to expand solar across the Sunshine State. We need comprehensive energy policies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions by encouraging the deployment of solar energy by individuals, businesses, and utilities.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is essential to addressing the climate impacts Floridians experience every day and increasing solar energy production is critical to future generations.
Enabling Floridians to continue to take action to increase solar energy production is an investment that provides benefits now and, in our future, additionally strengthening our resilience to impacts of hurricanes and tropical storms.
Policy changes that disincentivize installation of solar by homeowners and businesses is a step backwards.
The Nature Conservancy in Florida opposes Senate Bill 1024 and House Bill 741 as filed.
Statement regarding Noah Valenstein joining the Board of Trustees
September 10, 2021
The Nature Conservancy in Florida is thrilled to announce Noah Valenstein as the newest member of our Board of Trustees. Mr. Valenstein joins a high-functioning group of committed volunteer leaders and brings to bear a tremendous wealth of knowledge around conservation policies and government relations to our organization. During his recent tenure as Secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Mr. Valenstein focused on many of the same priorities we are pursuing in Florida and proved himself a committed ally and partner. Mr. Valenstein has consistently demonstrated values important to TNC including relying on sound science and data to inform conservation decisions. We look forward to the perspectives and guidance Mr. Valenstein will provide as Trustee for TNC in Florida.
Statement regarding the signing of the Florida Wildlife Corridor Act
June 25, 2021
Protecting essential Florida lands and waters is necessary not only to the Florida panther, black bear, red cockaded woodpecker, gopher tortoise, longleaf pine and so many others that depend on those lands to move, grow and prosper in Florida, but also for our ability to successfully mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change. There is great economic opportunity in the preservation of our natural places, and the importance of access to nature for our physical and mental wellbeing, as well as for recreational opportunities cannot be understated. The signing of the Florida Wildlife Corridor Act shows the Florida Legislature, Governor DeSantis and the state’s continued commitment to protecting rare and sensitive lands.
Statements on the 2020 U.S. Presidential Election
November 10, 2020
The American public has spoken in record numbers, here in Florida and across the nation.
This election highlighted the divisions that exist in our country, and it showed us that no matter our political beliefs, we agree on a few fundamental truths.
In the midst of differing opinions, nature is an anchoring force, and TNC's work to find common ground solutions to local, national and global conservation challenges is a rallying point. We saw proof of this in the passing of numerous ballot initiatives that will help conserve nature, confirming the existence of a shared drive to protect our world and its resources.
This is a moment of paramount importance to our mission of protecting the lands and waters upon which all life depends. We will remain true to that goal, and we will do so while holding fast to our values of respect for all people, communities and cultures; remembering that nature is strengthened by diversity.
While recognizing our differences across the nation, we have opportunities to advance policies to achieve healthy lands, waters, and oceans, a stable climate, dynamic economies, and thriving and just communities.
Here in Florida, we are constantly aware of the nature around us. From sea level rise to the increased intensity of extreme weather conditions and the pressure of a growing population on our water supply, we are constantly reminded of how important nature is to our physical and mental health, our economic well-being and our ability to adjust to a changing world.
We have, within our reach, solutions that will help us continue to protect vital Floridian lands, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, ensure a sustainable water resource for the people of our state, increase the use of renewable energy, and promote natural climate solutions. These are measures that can strengthen our economy, make our communities safer and more resilient, while helping to ensure a healthier and cleaner future.
We cannot do this work without our thousands of supporters, our partners and our dedicated staff. As we take this next step into our future, we welcome the opportunity to work with local governments, state agencies, the Florida Legislature, Congress and President-elect Joe Biden and his administration to ensure we remain true to our promise of creating a world where people and nature can thrive together.
The current presidential election is one of the most anticipated and observed global political events in recent history, and will dictate the country’s trajectory in a time when so much hangs in the balance. TNC, along with the rest of the world, is watching with bated breath. We are also confident that, no matter the result, our mission will continue, and our drive for meaningful conservation will not be hindered.
The environment is often politicized, but nature is not political, nor does it participate in partisanship. Similarly, TNC is a non-partisan organization with a deep history and successful record working on both sides of the aisle. We specialize in finding workable solutions that help protect the most important places, resources and species in our state, our country and the world. To do so, we work with a diverse group of people and partners: governments, corporations, local communities, other non-profits and environmental organizations, academia and more.
Collaboration is one of our unique strengths, as is playing the long game. We know that meaningful change very rarely happens overnight. As a science-led organization, we look to the distant horizon and work towards goals that are sometimes decades in the making, which is how we know our work will continue and we will remain true to our mission regardless of the final outcome on November 4.
We all have a vital role in our democracy, and early voting has shown we are taking it seriously as a state and as a nation. When you do vote, please speak up for nature. And looking beyond the general election, there are always opportunities to take action for the protection of our plant, as the passing of the Great American Outdoors Act demonstrated. TNC developed a handy guide that maps out accessible ways that each one of us can do our part.
We find ourselves at a critical crossroads for nature in our state, our country and beyond. Thank you for continuing to help us on our mission to protect the lands and water upon which all life depends.
Statement on the Great American Outdoors Act
July 22, 2020
The U.S. House of Representatives today voted 310-107 to approve the Great American Outdoors Act, which would fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and make critical investments in our national park system and other public lands. The bill, which passed the U.S. Senate last month, now goes to the president for his promised signature.
“Florida’s iconic landscapes are a cornerstone of our state’s identity. The Great American Outdoors Act recognizes the vast benefits of nature, in focus now more than ever, with an ongoing commitment to funding conservation. The Act will have great impact to our communities and economy, and will be invaluable to our public lands—places like the world-renowned Everglades National Park and other unique natural areas from the Keys to north Florida,” said Temperince Morgan, executive director, The Nature Conservancy in Florida. “We’re grateful for the strong bipartisan support of Florida’s U.S. Representatives Bilirakis, Buchanan, Castor, Crist, Demings, Deutch, Diaz-Balart, Frankel, Hastings, Lawson, Mast, Mucarsel-Powell, Murphy, Shalala, Soto, Wasserman Schultz and Wilson for this historic legislation.”
Accelerating Action Through the Ocean and Coasts Network
Living in Florida, a state surrounded by ocean on all sides, we’re often reminded of the important role the ocean plays in our lives. In fact, no matter where in the world we live, the ocean impacts our life. It is vital to life on earth: absorbing 50 times more carbon dioxide than our atmosphere, producing half the oxygen we breathe and keeping the earth’s temperature in check. If you live in a coastal area, the ocean plays an even more significant role. The ocean and the blue economy create jobs, drive economic growth and improve livelihoods.
Because of the threats our oceans are facing like climate change, degrading ecosystems and pollution, we need bold, science-led action now. In Florida, we see first-hand the impact of these threats in our own neighborhoods. We must all do our part to help accelerate ocean action and participate in the growing global response to protect our oceans.
To address these challenges, I am proud to announce that TNC has launched the Ocean and Coasts Network (OCN) to scale our ocean conservation efforts across a broad area. This program spans nine southeastern U.S. states (Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas) and the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the South Atlantic. The network aims to address ecosystem-wide threats through a cohesive and collaborative approach that taps into our deep expertise and resources across the region. OCN’s policy, community engagement and conservation expertise will help connect coastal strategies across geographies and deploy solutions at the scale needed to maximize impacts.
TNC has a long history of conserving marine ecosystems beginning 40 years ago with our coastal resilience initiatives in the Florida Keys. Over the years, our efforts broadened to include projects ranging from protecting coastal wetlands to oyster restoration and coastal resilience. Complementing our conservation successes is a history of collaboration and partnership that we will leverage across the region. Through OCN, we will work across borders to advance marine science, support smart energy siting, promote sustainable fisheries, influence ocean policy and explore blue carbon projects.
OCN’s initiatives are already in motion throughout this area, which comprises 50% of the contiguous shoreline in the U.S. In Florida, our OCN projects are restoring oyster reef habitats in Pensacola East Bay and engaging with recreational anglers through TNC’s Deck to Depth Program. Additionally, OCN supports several mangrove restoration projects in the region, and I’m proud to share that our work was highlighted in a National Geographic magazine article on July 26, the International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem.
Saving our oceans is a global challenge that will take planet-sized solutions, but joining forces for good on a regional level is a significant step. I invite you to visit our OCN webpage to learn more about this exciting new program, get involved and follow along on our journey as we work together to accelerate ocean action.
Addressing Climate Change: Women at the Forefront of Climate Action
Here in Florida, we live at ground zero for the planet’s greatest global challenge, and we feel the impacts of climate change each day. Women worldwide are more vulnerable than men to the impacts of climate change, and are playing critical leadership roles on the frontlines of this important issue here in Florida and beyond. Recently, we have had some great opportunities to showcase their contributions.
TNC in Florida launched a series of “Women in Climate” virtual panel events that I’m lucky to host with some of our most esteemed climate leaders, featuring compelling topics and discussions that inform and engage others. We have focused on topics like:
- Climate and health, where we were joined by Jane Gilbert, Miami Dade’s first Chief Heat Officer, and Dr Cheryl Holder who co-chairs the Miami-Dade Climate and Heat Health Task Force;
- Climate communicators, where we were joined by Dr Katharine Hayhoe, TNC’s Chief Scientist, and award-winning journalists Cynthia Barnett and Alex Harris; and
- Climate policy, where we were joined by elected climate leaders like U.S. Representatives Kathy Castor and Stephanie Murphy and Commissioners Nikki Fried and Janet Long.
The Nature Conservancy was also invited to participate in this year’s Aspen Ideas: Climate conference in Miami Beach, which took place May 9-12, 2022. The conference brought a solutions-focused event to a city where climate impacts are top of mind. Policymakers, scientific experts, corporate leaders, inventors and innovators, artists, youth leaders and engaged members of the public convened to interact, learn, and collaborate with engaged thinkers and doers who are working to address climate change and our collective futures.
Jennifer Morris, TNC CEO, participated in two powerful plenary panels during the summit. The first was with the mayor of Miami-Dade County, Daniella Levine Cava, and Amazon’s vice president for sustainability, Kara Hurst, on the importance of climate change adaptation and mitigation and what it will take to scale up our impact to meet the urgency of the climate crisis. Jen later joined acclaimed chef, author and self-proclaimed “fish evangelist” Barton Seaver for a conversation exploring the role that fish could play in feeding future generations and the ever-growing recognition of aquaculture as a sustainable source of this essential food source.
On May 10, Morris and Hurst teamed up with Ximena Caminos, founder of local nonprofit The ReefLine, to co-host a cocktail reception at the Faena Hotel in Miami Beach to celebrate and recognize women climate leaders. I had the opportunity to talk with the most incredible women, true powerhouses leading the way in helping to address our climate crisis. Among the women who spoke that evening was Mayor Cava, the first-ever woman mayor elected in Miami-Dade County and a champion of the environment.
Rod Braun, TNC Florida’s climate strategy director, also represented TNC in a number of panels and roundtables covering the conservation and policy implications of climate change, renewable energy and accelerating the implementation of natural infrastructure across South Florida.
Miami was buzzing with side events to the official summit, and event organizers leveraged the momentum created by Aspen Ideas to rally the community around the need for action in the face of the climate crisis. One such side event was Resilient Futures: Art as a Tool for Change: Co-Creating with Nature at the Faena Forum on May 11. I had the opportunity to speak there about the importance of nature-based solutions to make our communities more resilient to the impacts of climate change and to store more carbon and create habitat for increased biodiversity. I was honored to be sharing the program with American marine biologist, oceanographer, explorer, author, and lecturer “Her Deepness” Sylvia Earle, who received a standing ovation for her impassioned speech about protecting our oceans. It was another remarkable evening.
We look forward to participating again next year when Aspen Ideas: Climate returns to Miami Beach March 6-9, 2023. It is one part of a much larger strategy for TNC in Florida to address climate issues on multiple levels. We are helping our communities become more resilient to rising sea levels and more severe weather conditions by implementing nature-based solutions along our shorelines to help them adapt to the impacts of climate change. We are ensuring that all of our work takes into consideration how we can store carbon and reduce greenhouse gas levels in our atmosphere. We are helping our legislature see the value in working with nature, not against it, in the face of climate change, we are encouraging lawmakers to create a statewide climate action plan in response to climate change impacts, and we are advocating for policies that reduce carbon emissions through the electrification of transportation and the deployment of solar energy to move Florida towards net zero carbon emissions.